You should get out more. You may be suffering, but there are others who are suffering just as much as you. OR, you look very good today. Does that mean you must be feeling so much better? OR, I know how tired you are probably feeling. I get tired too, you know. Are you quite sure that you’re eating a well-balanced diet? Have you ever thought of trying herbal remedies or alternative medicine? I can recommend someone who is very good if you like. I think that the most often heard and most disliked piece of advice is:- IF YOU WANT MY ADVICE … It is hurtful to hear this because the person giving the advice often doesn’t even know exactly what my diagnosis is.
Mental illness can become chronic and is one of the invisible illnesses. When our son suffered from paranoid schizophrenia which few people understood, we received a lot of the above kind of advice. I remember someone saying; ‘It could have been much worse you know. It could have been cancer.’ Many responses to that went through my head but I decided not to reply as I might have said something very nasty. The person in question had absolutely no idea how devastating mental illness was for our son nor the repercussions it had on our family’s life.
Here are a few of the invisible illnesses I can think of: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gaucher’s, Clinical Depression, Diabetes, Chemical Sensitivity, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgea, Food Allergies, Graves disease, a thyroid disorder, Lyme Disease, parasitic infections, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Mental illness and many others.
We all need to remember that having an invisible illness is not a choice one has, so all that a sufferer can do is to remain hopeful, inspire others and never give up.